The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday night on CBS, and while there have been plenty of performances officially announced for the show, there are plenty of others that are rumored, such as a Beyonce / Jay Z duet, and a surprise Madonna appearance. And Ken Ehrlich , executive producer of The Grammys, says he wishes people would stop leaking information.
"I just wish there were a way to have some surprise back in television, so that when people looked, and all of a sudden that came on, they went 'Wow,'" he tells ABC News Radio. He also admits he was a bit dismayed by the fact that former Beatle Ringo Starr evidently told reporters that he and Paul McCartney would be not just appearing, but performing together, at the show, even though Ehrlich and his team haven't confirmed it.
Leaks aside, there are plenty of exciting performances in store for viewers on Sunday night's show. However, don't expect a moment like Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke 's twerkfest at the MTV VMAs. Ehrlich says that's not what the Grammys are all about.
"I guess the right answer to promote the show would be 'Absolutely, we're gonna outdo it,'" he laughs. "But that's not what our show is. We love when spontaneous things happen...and we have a lot of those. But what I'm not crazy about, frankly, is when a performance like that hijacks a show. And you have a great Justin performance or a great Bruno performance, or even a great Katy performance, and all anyone's talking about the next day is Miley's tongue."
Still, viewers will be treated to a number of cool collaborations and mash-ups, like Robin Thicke performing with the band Chicago , Daft Punk playing with Stevie Wonder , heavy metal gods Metallica playing with the Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang , and rockers Imagine Dragons teaming with rapper Kendrick Lamar .
Whereas before, Ehrlich and his team used to cook up these crazy pairings, he says, "What's happened over the years is that now people come to us." He says artists know that the cooler their idea is for a collabo, the more likely it is that they'll get to perform on the show. "They know that that might be a roadmap to the Grammys, if they present an interesting idea," he explains.
Another hallmark of Sunday night's telecast is that it's got a little something for everyone. In addition to the mash-ups, the lineup also includes Taylor Swift , Keith Urban , Lorde , Katy Perry , Pink , Paul McCartney , Blake Shelton and more, and nearly every musical genre is covered.
"You try to appeal to everybody, you try and make a show that's so broad that there isn't anybody that says, 'I don't wanna watch it,'" says Ehrlich. "And when you've got Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr and then they leave the stage and out comes Keith Urban, and then you go from that to Kendrick [Lamar]...I mean, it's pretty remarkable, so I'm very excited about this show."
The 56th Annual Grammy Awards air live on CBS Sunday night, starting at 8 p.m. ET. Fair warning from Ehrlich: the show is expected to last for at least three-and-a-half hours.
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